Q:

What is glycerol a subunit molecule of?

A:

Quick Answer

Glycerol is a subunit of lipid molecules, including triglycerides. Triglycerides consist of a glycerol backbone that has been attached to three fatty acid chains. Fatty acids are carboxylic acids with long carbon chains.

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Full Answer

Glycerol is an important subunit for many other lipids with biochemical importance. Triglycerides are essential to transfer and store fat in the body and also function as carrier molecules in the blood stream.

Some of the phospholipids essential for cell membranes also contain glycerol. In this case, the glycerol is the subunit that ties the rest of the molecule together. The two fatty acid chains and the phosphorylated head of the phospholipid are connected to the glycerol.

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